Free Breakfast Offered at All DMPS Elementary Schools

Breakfast in the Classroom bag

A breakfast at no cost will now be offered to every DMPS elementary student at all 38 schools.

Des Moines Public Schools will offer free breakfast at 16 additional elementary schools beginning with the 2017-18 school year, giving all elementary students access to breakfast at no cost to their families.

DMPS is able to provide all elementary students with Breakfast in the Classroom through a federally funded school breakfast program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and with grant money awarded by the Midwest Dairy Council and Action for Healthy Kids.

“When we offer breakfast at no cost to every student, the stigma that only poor children eat breakfast at school is wiped away,” said Amanda Miller, DMPS Director of Food and Nutrition. “We have found that when breakfast is offered at no cost to all students, participation increases to nearly 80%.”

When more students participate, teachers and administrators see improvements in the classroom.

“Studies have shown that students who regularly eat a nutritionally balanced, no-cost breakfast at school show greater improvements in math scores, attendance, punctuality, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity,” said Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart. “Almost every facet of their day improves, along with the student’s overall health.”

The implementation of this program means almost all DMPS schools offer at least one no-cost meal option during the day. The most current numbers indicate 74.1% of DMPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on their family income, that’s more than 23,500 school age children living in or near poverty in the city of Des Moines.

For answers to frequently asked questions about Breakfast in the Classroom, click here.